Concerns surrounding campus security, student safety community initiatives and an active civic participation in the murder trial of Stellenbosch student Hannah Cornelius, are but three of the signs highlighting the small university dorpie’s continued shock and reaction to a sad and violent crime.
The four men accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering the 21-year-old will appear before the Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court on July 28th having abandoned all previous attempts to set bail applications.
“I feel very sad. The way they murdered her…it’s so wrong”, said one woman present in the courtroom earlier this week.
A sentiment shared by university officials and students alike; a sentiment which has pushed the administration of the tertiary institution to increase and refine security measures in and around its structures.
Cornelius and a friend were hijacked while parked on one of the town’s main roads and taken to Kraaifontein, a good 20 minutes away from Stellenbosch along the N1. The friend managed to escape and Cornelius’ body was found by authorities the next day.
Students have begun independent initiatives, such as Whatsapp groups and “walking buddies”, to ensure the safety of their peers.
Exams and tests at night have apparently been discontinued, while safety kiosks and patrol squads have been increased in recent years.